- Avoid stripes, plaid, and patterns. Solids photograph much better. Also best to avoid white pants. White is not a very forgiving color.
- Bring a variety of colors.
- Avoid clothing that has wording on it except for you own school logo.
- Vary the style, all one look (like tanks) gets boring.
- Vary the dress level, bring some dressy, some medium and some casual.
Some shots are close up, others are full length. Plan outfits completely. It is hard to do a full length formal in your suit if all you brought was big old tennis shoes. Also remember, as a general rule, light clothes look better on lighter backgrounds and darker clothes look better on darker backgrounds. So if you prefer dark, bring dark, if you prefer some of both, bring some of both. Black is a good color and so are the basic primary colors like red and blue, along with maroon also work great.
Hair : Avoid changing your hairstyle or cutting your hair right before your session. Let it be natural. Quick easy hairstyle changes during your session are OK, but make it quick or you loose camera time. Artificially bleached hair is often not best, in 10 years you might say “What was I thinking??” Bring your hair care tools and products with you if need be. Although our photographer tries to help with hair, it is hard to know what your hair “is supposed to look like”. So make sure you like the look or let the photographer know your preferences. Hair style is ultimately YOUR responsibility.
Jewelry : Best tip here, keep it simple. We want the attention on you. Big, shiny jewelry can distract from the real subject, YOU. If you have different jewelry for different outfits, you might put each set of jewelry in a plastic baggie and hang it on the hangar with that outfit.
Props BRING THEM! : Bring props that help define who you are. Some popular choices are: Sports equipment (soccer ball, football, basketball, baseball, whatever), sports uniforms, music instruments (from school tuba to rock guitar), activities (dance leotard and shoes, swimming, hobbies, you name it!), vehicles and motorcycles can come to the outdoor session.
Glasses : Most glasses glare! Some prescriptions more than others. Your best bet is to check with your optometrist. Most will “loan” you an empty set of frames similar to yours for your photo session.
Sunburn/Tanning : Sunburn and peeling skin DOES NOT photograph well!! Tan, yes, burn, no. If you are a winter or spring session and your tan has faded, you might consider tanning. But don’t overdue it so you look too fake-and-bake. Also. tan lines are not attractive in portraits. We suggest you vary your swimsuit top or use a tanning bed to minimize any tan marks.
Complexion : Make-up does wonders. Yes even for guys. A little touch up on blemishes makes your previews even better. But don’t worry, your package orders can be retouched to perfection.
Pets : Pets are OK as long as they are house broken. It is a good idea to have someone bring a pet, then leave with them after. Or bring a pet carrier to contain them while you are being photographed without them. Treats can be helpful to hold a dogs attention. You can even bring your horse to your outdoor session.
Friends and Parents : Friends or parents are welcome. They can be a help. You can have a couple of shots with a boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend or sibling at no extra charge.
Weather for Outdoor Portraits : Let’s face it, we are at the mercy of mother nature. If it rains, we’ll have to reschedule. Don’t worry about clouds, they actually help. But rain falling IS a problem. We will give you a number to call if the weather is threatening.
Tattoos, Scars, Braces, Piercings : Just let the photographer know if you want tattoos to show or not. It is that easy. Scars are not automatically retouched, but can be removed or softened at your request. Extensive work may have a slight extra charge. Braces? Don’t worry. You could have the tops taken off for your photo session, or we can retouch them out by computer. But don’t fight smiling, a braces smile is better than a “holding back a smile” look.
TIPS FOR GIRLS Clothing styles : Be careful of baggy clothes that might make you look larger than you are. Make sure your clothing flatters you. If you think you have large arms, be careful of sleeveless styles, they can make your arms look fuller. Wild to mild. We don’t really tell you what you can and can not wear. A little sexy is OK, but don’t make ALL of your outfits that way. We photograph everything from prom dresses to swimsuits. What one person likes may not be appropriate for the next person. Our philosophy is “as long as your parent’s approve, we don’t care”. But remember your yearbook may have a dress code for submitted photos.
Undergarments : It is amazing how many times someone will come in wearing flowered underwear and not realize it is a problem until they go to put on their WHITE PANTS! Or come in wearing a white bra and put on a black sleeveless shirt. Please bring appropriate foundation wear for each outfit. Flesh colored is the best. Also, if you need a strapless bra, bring one. Tucking the straps down usually shows and looks bad with regular clothes. With today’s thin fabrics, carefully select these pieces so you can’t see unsightly lines.
Finger and toe nails : NAILS SHOW! If they have the paint all chipped off, it will show. Many casual shots are done barefoot, so don’t forget about those toes! Avoid real bright colors. Natural or basic work best.
Makeup : Makeup should only be slightly heavier than normal. About like you might wear in the evening. Mascara should be clean and contain no clumps. So if your mascara is old and clumpy, replace it first.
TIPS FOR GUYS : Clothing : Remember, if mom gets her nice shot, she is much cooler on letting you get what you want! So make her happy and keep her off both of our cases. Bring the right shoes for the outfits. Docs or sandals photograph much better than big, bright tennis shoes. Bring a dark t-shirt to wear under dark shirts. A white t-shirt triangle under a dark shirt sticks out like a sore thumb. so bring a black or gray. The white t-shirt is for wearing under light shirts and your tux shirt. Avoid large, bold brand names or words on clothing. Already, a few big names from just a few years ago, you would not be caught dead wearing now. No need to make your portraits advertising billboards for a clothing brand.
Shaving : Please make sure you are clean shaven. Retouching stubble costs extra and is still does not look as good as a clean shave. Got a goatee that mom hates, but you love? Do your casual shots first with it on, then bring a razor and go to the restroom and shave it off for mom’s formals. Everyone is happy that way!
Hair :Be careful of changes right before your session. Bleached hair does not look as good in photographs. Natural or maybe frosted tips are better than the white, totally bleached look.